The presidency has responded to public outrage concerning the timing of the first phase of parliamentary elections. President Mohamed Morsi announced that a new schedule for the first phase was under serious consideration while attending the Egyptian Forum on Foreign Policy on Saturday.
Citizens of the Cairo, Beheira, Minya, Port Said, and North Sinai governorates are scheduled to vote during the first phase of the election, which will determine the composition of the House of Representatives.
The original timing of the first phase, which was announced on Thursday, was met with public outcry. The first round of the phase was scheduled to take place on 27 and 28 April, during Lazarus Saturday and Palm Sunday. The runoff was initially scheduled to take place on 4 and 5 May, which coincides with Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday, the most important feast in the Coptic calendar.
Coptic activists voiced their strong disapproval for the timing of the voting, saying it demonstrated the government’s disregard for Egypt’s Christian minority.
This year Coptic Christians will observe Holy Week from 28 April to 5 May. The week is an intensive period of prayer for Christians and concludes a 55-day period of fasting.
At the time of print state-owned Al-Ahram said an announcement detailing the change in schedule would be made “within hours”.
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